Kabooooom! Hangout: X-Men: Days of Future Past

The Kabooooom staff may all love pop culture, but we all have different tastes. In Kabooooom! Hangouts, a new ongoing discussion feature, we bring together our different points of view and talk about the today’s hottest comics, television shows and movies. The end result is an opinionated, informative, thought-provoking and – hopefully – amusing conversation. Enjoy.


Marcus Hammond: Ready for some X-Men discussion?

Rush Urbalejo: Absolutely!

Anne Mortensen-Agnew: Let’s do it!

[WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW]

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Marcus: I think we should start off with overall impressions of the movie itself.

Rush: I definitely believe it was the strongest entry in the entire franchise

Anne: I thought it was the best or second best, yeah. Depending on where I would place First Class.

Marcus: I still really liked First Class, but this one was very cool.

Rush: The acting was strong all around. Singer knew his environment and used it to set up shots that were believable and beautiful. The effects were absolutely seamless!

Marcus: I loved the stop motion/slow motion angles.

Anne: Agreed. The action scenes, in the future especially, were so well choreographed.

Rush: Oh, the Quicksilver scene was INCREDIBLE!

Anne: That scene in particular was fantastic. Quicksilver was the best part of the movie.

Rush: Agreed! Evan Peters really gave Marvel something to live up to when Avengers 2 hits.

Marcus: That’s a great point

Anne: Yeah. Which surprised me, since at SDCC last year Peters seemed really uninterested, so I thought it was going to be a really lame or bit part. But then he was the highlight.

Rush: I would watch an entire Quicksilver movie and I was not even a huge fan of the character before Evans’ portrayal!

Marcus: Yeah. I was in the same boat, Rush. I’ve been really interested in the Quicksilver situation between Fox and Marvel.

Rush: It is definitely an interesting situation.

Anne: I dig Pietro normally, but this was the first time in awhile I’ve just loved him.

Rush: Exactly!

Marcus: He was different than the comic character, which I liked.

Rush: I love that they shrug that off as him just being “young.”

Marcus: Yeah, and I liked the little five-second “bomb” about his dad.

Rush: It got a giggle out of the audience!

Anne: That was cute. I liked that they had a little bit of Wanda there too, though I would have preferred if she were an actual character in the movie.

Marcus: I don’t think I caught that…

Rush: No, I think that was Polaris.

Anne: He was holding his little sister while he watched Magneto’s broadcast. The girl was wearing a pink/red dress.

wanda-x-men-days-of-future-pastMarcus: AH!

Rush: Wanda is his twin.

Anne: I guess they changed it because adding Wanda and her reality/probability-warping powers would have made this movie’s problem very easily solved.

Rush: Here is another example of a comic book movie that borrowed from the source material closely but not TOO closely, in the same vein as TASM2. Why was this movie so much better? Do you think it is because Singer knows this world so well? Or do you think the actors are just better equipped to handle a story of this depth?

Anne: Well, didn’t TASM2 have a problem where they tried for just too much in one film?

Rush: That was definitely one of the problem, but I would say this movie had a lot going on too; it was just managed better

Marcus: The actors were definitely better equipped. Jackman, McKellen, Stewart… all have played these characters for a lot longer than Garfield has played Spider-Man.

Rush: Very true! I think that the death scenes helped us connect with the characters in a way that TASM2 couldn’t. It’s liking stepping back into familiar skin

Marcus: Well and didn’t we say that Gwen’s death in TASM2 was one of the best scenes in that movie?

Rush: [laughs] Yup, took the words right from my fingers.

Marcus: So what did you guys think of the whole future Sentinels?

Rush: Very cool and super scary!

Anne: As someone who does not read X-Men comics, I thought they were cool.

Rush: I thought the CGI was beautiful.

Marcus: I was freaked out. I read everything X-Men and that is exactly how I want Nimrod-class Sentinels to look.

x-men-days-of-future-past-sentinelsRush: Those were absolutely creatures to be terrified of and showed the audience exactly why the mutants had to go into hiding.

Anne: Yeah, they were threatening in a way the other X-film antagonists haven’t been.

Marcus: I think the X-films are progressively getting darker. And those Sentinels were a big part of this.

Rush: Trask was almost just as frightening, simply because he IS so human.

Anne: Yeah. It was the logical conclusion of humanity’s fear of mutants. A fear and paranoia that also ended up killing a lot of them.

Rush: We know his son is his real motivation but for those who don’t read the comics, his intentions seem hollow and built on fear and prejudice, not to mention simple greed…

x-men-days-of-future-past-jennifer-lawrence-gunMarcus: Did you both like that Mystique was the cause of mutant genocide in a way?

Rush: I think it’s interesting that she plays such a big part in all of this.

Anne: I loved Mystique in this.

Marcus: Do you think that’s because the story organically placed her in that position or did the filmmakers want to focus on Jennifer Lawrence?

Rush: I don’t know that technology (even top secret technology) in the 1970’s was advanced enough to create the Sentinels in that way, but it was still very interesting. Lawrence is a huge draw but the story felt organic.

Anne: Yeah, I’d say probably both, Marcus.

Rush: Is there anything that we didn’t like about it? Personally, I felt it was one of the strongest comic book movies so far.

Anne: Ha-ha, I would have liked more women.

Rush: The women that it did have were all bad asses! Blink was a WELCOME addition!

blink-x-men-days-of-future-pastAnne: And except for Mystique, had a collective fifteen lines of dialogue.

Rush: Very true, though Kitty was almost the hero of the film.

Anne: C’mon! There are so many great female X-Men! Why not throw at least ONE in as a co-caretaker of Xavier?

Rush: [laughs] Agreed. Though, all he had was Beast.

Anne: Kitty allowed the film to happen, but she was mostly there to let Wolverine be hero again.

Rush: I don’t feel that Wolverine was the hero; I thought it was Mystique.

Marcus: I had 2-3 things that left questions in my head. Not necessarily disliked… The first was that scene where Erik nearly crashes the airplane… so Erik gets all mad at Charles on the plane for leaving mutants behind, right?

Rush: Well, letting his friends die, but yes…

Marcus: Right, so I felt like there was a big gap in the story there…

Rush: How so?

Marcus: All these mutants died in 1973, and First Class left off in the late 60’s, so why are all the mutants dying if no one knows they’re around?

Rush: Trask was experimenting on them.

X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-Trask-and-StrykerMarcus: So Erik and Charles knew about Trask all along? I guess I missed that.

Anne: There was SOME government knowledge of the mutants, since they were involved in the missile crisis. But they weren’t well known until Mystique tried to assassinate Trask. That’s what I got, anyway. But I don’t think we know how Trask found out about them and gathered enough to experiment.

Rush: He can track mutants, so I think it is an easy connection. I don’t know that they knew about Trask…

Anne: I’m pretty sure they didn’t know at first. Xavier didn’t, anyway.

Marcus: I guess my point is the airplane scene was very well acted, but when Erik blames Charles for abandoning them when they needed him most… it felt like there was another story that happened in between…

Rush: Oh, definitely!

Anne: Yeah, same.

Rush: There’s more to the story but I don’t think that the absence of the explanation hindered the story at hand.

Anne: Yeah, I’m fine not knowing the details – there are a million stories you can tell about what happened further between Erik and Charles. It has been a decade.

Marcus: I agree with both of those thoughts. Kitty was my second question or issue… and this is much more superficial and more related to my comic geekiness…

Rush: [laughs] Shoot!

Marcus: So Kitty Pryde… well known for phasing through walls… can now shift people through time?!?

Anne: I have no idea. I guess it’s… a super extension of her power? But I don’t know how she’d even develop that.

Rush: Yeah, that was interesting.

Marcus: In the comic, it’s Kitty that travels back to the past. So, I just think it’s interesting that she gets time shifting powers. This also goes into what Anne said about how she is there to help Wolverine be the hero.

3trmqEMRush: If you consider her ability as shifting through spots in the universe, maybe time travel is a natural extension?

Anne: I think that’s what it’s supposed to be.

Marcus: There we go. That’s the logic I was looking for. [laughs]

Rush: Woo-hoo! Loved the introduction of Stryker!

Marcus: I think it’s little bits of story like that, that really make the difference in the movie, and shows that the director, screenwriter, and producers care about the subject matter.

Anne: That was good. That was really good. I loved the mention of his son, as well.

Rush: Exactly! They completely erased the first three movies. Do you think that we are going to see sequels to both ends of the franchise?

Anne: I’m interested in how the franchise will move forward. I’d enjoy another period film, if only because I love those actors.

Marcus: I definitely want more First Class, but – oh my god! –  I am so excited after the end credits scene!

Rush: Apocalypse takes place in the 80s, right?

Anne: I’m not really sure when it takes place. The next movie, that is.

Marcus: Rush, it depends on what Apocalypse story they are going to do…

Rush: I just meant the next movie. Quicksilver is supposed to play a much bigger role.

Anne: Yes please!

Marcus: If they are bravely going to do Age of Apocalypse than that was in the 90’s. If they are just going to have Apocalypse as the big bad then it could be 80’s.

Rush: I’ll take 80s, absolutely! All right, so, where to you feel this falls on the list of the comic book movies out this year, so far? I think I may have actually enjoyed it more than Captain America 2.

Anne: I’d put it behind The Winter Soldier.

Rush: Definitely better than TASM2, though, right?

Marcus: Winter Soldier. X-Men: DOFP. Thor: Dark World. Iron Man 3. TASM2. That was more than you asked for, but yet I did it.

Rush: [laughs] I’d almost agree with that list.

Anne: If we include last year’s, I’d put it between IM3 and Thor 2.

Rush: Winter Soldier was strong and it was a lot of fun, not to mention it changed the entire MCU. I still think that DOFP hit all of the emotional buttons without slowing the pace of the film.

Anne: Winter Soldier was a very ambitious movie and it reminded me of The Dark Knight, particularly in how it used the superhero film genre to discuss huge real-world issues.

Rush: Considering the juggling the story had to do when it came to time travel, it held its own and nothing seemed out of place. That’s how I feel about DOFP.

Anne: Very much agreed, Rush.

Marcus: Yes, this is one of the best time travel movies I’ve seen.

Rush: It’s obviously a statement on prejudice.

Marcus: Isn’t that what made X-Men and X2 great was that it fed into the mutants as a metaphor concept?

Rush: Exactly, and this movie tapped right back into that spirit

Anne: Yeah, exactly, it’s the spirit of the thing. The latter movies branched away from that, and… were not nearly as good.

Marcus: My wife loved it. And she dislikes comics.

Rush: You hit a nail right there, Marcus. The movie was made for people who love movies, not necessarily comics. In doing so, it appealed to both audiences.

Anne: Returning to that metaphor was what the franchise needed, in my opinion.

Marcus: Exactly. And this had, as you guys pointed out, Blink and Bishop.

Rush: Agreed! Oh, how did we not talk about Bishop?? He was done perfectly, in my mind!

Marcus: He really was….exactly as I see him in my mind

Anne: I know nothing about Bishop except that he’s from the future. I thought he was really cool though.

Marcus: One final thing, we kind of skipped over the climatic death scenes… weren’t those well done? They were really getting me… watching some of my favorite characters bite it.

x-men-days-of-future-past_612x380Anne: Those were great.

Marcus: When Colossus meets his end, I was mentally yelling, “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Anne: They managed to get me to feel for characters I barely know. And the deaths were so brutal!

Rush: The scene towards the end, where Magneto gives himself to save the others…That got a bit of dust in my eye. They were brutal and you said it PERFECTLY: Whether you knew them or not, it was done in a way that made the audience care.

Marcus: Brutal was the word I typed and erased because you both said it… [laughs]

Anne: God, really, the Sentinels were just so well done. Very Terminator or SkyNet.

Marcus: I think that the viciousness of the future Sentinels really added to the entirety of the prejudice message. When we turn to intolerance the world becomes a brutal place…

Anne: Exactly, and we end up destroying not just our enemies but ourselves. Our prejudices end up ruling and ruining us, literally.

Rush: Really, is there a more important lesson to learn?

Marcus: Awesome guys. It’s pretty rare when a movie can inspire this level of critical thought.

Rush: Indeed! Any final thoughts?

Anne: Just as someone who isn’t really an X-Men fan, it was a really well done movie.

Rush: Overall, just a really fantastic movie.

Marcus: Agreed. A well-done and entertaining movie. Thanks guys. See you next time.


Anne, Rush, and Marcus loved X-Men: Days of Future Past! Everything from the ominous future Sentinels and the appearance of some fan favorite mutants, to the overall perceived message was both entertaining and well done. This is a solid entry into the X-Men franchise that we believe opens up a myriad of possibilities for the future, while helping us remember what came before it.

What did you think of X-Men: Days of Future Past? How would you rank it as an entry in the X-Men film franchise? Let us hear from you in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out our full review.

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5 comments on “Kabooooom! Hangout: X-Men: Days of Future Past

  1. I hadn’t really thought it about it like that, but you guys are right – Kitty Pryde is, unfortunately, reduced to little more than a vehicle for Wolverine to be the hero… again.

    Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy Wolverine, or that I really begrudge the movie for making this choice. Jackman is at his best as Logan/Wolverine in this flick, and for the X-Men movie universe it makes the most sense for him to go back, given the development the character has had, especially with Charles/Prof X.

    But I have to knock off some points for this film’s lack of female characters, and mutants especially. Sure, there’s Kitty, Storm, Blink – and they’re all great! – but so underused. Hell! Rogue had all of her scenes cut except for that final little coda moment!

    As incredible and powerful as JLaw’s performance is as Mystique is, and she really is (for me) the star of this picture, it’s only her balancing out all these dudes: Wolverine, Magneto (x2), Xavier (x2), Beast, Quicksilver, etc.

    It still thoroughly enjoyed DOFP, a lot in fact, but I’m sad I have to level this kind of criticism against a series based on a property that is SO diverse. It’s a shame we don’t see a little more of that in the movies.

  2. I had a friend who said she was glad to see Wolverine go back to the somewhat humorous, less emo version that he was in the second Wolverine movie. I think that this “Women in Refrigerators” discussion is interesting.

  3. I agree with Sara. I was dismayed that Mystique – for all her agency in this movie – ultimately has to make a choice regarding which man gets to tell her what to do. The rest of the female cast are in similar boats. Blink mostly uses her powers to make the men around her more effective fighters. Kitty is just there to enable Logan to play Big Damn Hero. Even Storm needs Magneto to give her something to make explode to be effective against the Nimrods, when she logically should have been able to hit them five ways to Sunday once they were in visual range.

    I also think that Magneto was handed the idiot ball in regards to his “plan” once he escaped…

    Magneto: Hmm.. so you, my best friend and sworn enemy, have broken me out of prison. I assume there’s a good reason?
    Xavier: Yes, Erik. Raven is going to kill this scientist and it will cause everything to go bad.
    Magneto: Hmm… then I will kill her and that will solve everything.
    Xavier: No! You can’t kill her!
    Magneto: Alright, then. I’ll kill the scientist first. That way she can’t be the one to kill him.
    Xavier: No! We need to not kill anyone.
    Magneto: Well, now you’re just talking nonsense, Charles….

  4. I really enjoyed the movie, which makes the one thing I didn’t like stand out all the more. The lack of women is particularly annoying here because, c’mon, this is X-Men. There are TONS of female characters. Jean Grey, Kitty Pryde, Storm, and Rogue are some of Marvel’s most recognizable female characters. Hugh Jackman is awesome and he’s had a great performance as Wolverine here, no dispute. Everyone did a great job. But why were only male characters, with ONE exception, the important ones?

    I liked this movie more than most of the other X-Men films, but there’s no reason at all for why there shouldn’t have been at least one more woman with importance, agency, and screentime in the cast. Beast could have been easily swapped out for or paired up with a woman. Why not reintroduce Moira MacTaggart from First Class, or try to redeem their awful Emma Frost, or use any other female character in the huge roster of female characters? All this stuff is made up anyway, so why not modify the story so that Kitty AND Wolverine go back? Everyone wins.

    Like Sarah said, for a property that is pretty diverse (when it wants to be, anyway), DOFP was so underrepresentative, and that is a real shame.

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